Dutch cafes can ban 'pot tourists'

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The Netherlands can legally ban foreigners from buying cannabis from cafes, a European court has ruled

Dutch authorities can ban coffee shops from selling marijuana to foreigners, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

The ruling came in an important test case for the country’s crackdown on the popular soft drug dens.

The court said the southern Dutch city of Maastricht was within its rights when it introduced a “weed passport” in 2005 to prevent foreigners from entering cafes that sell marijuana.

The passports were aimed at curbing problems by so-called drug tourists who drove to the city from nearby Belgium and Germany to buy marijuana.

The owner of Maastricht coffee shop Easy Going had argued that the policy breached European Union laws on free movement of goods and services.

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